Photo credit: Karolina Grabowska
Every day, people both online and offline are talking about your brand. If you’re not listening to those conversations, your reputation could be at stake.
You need to monitor both social and traditional media to understand your brand’s place in the overall industry conversation. It’s important to know how much your brand is being talked about by measuring share of voice, but that alone won’t give you the whole picture. You need to know what people are saying and how they feel about your brand. But how?
Analyze the sentiment of your audience’s posts.
Here are three ways to set yourself up for success in measuring brand sentiment:
1. Establish realistic expectations
Sentiment refers to the emotion or opinion conveyed in a brand mention, and mentions will either have a positive, negative or neutral sentiment. Praise for your brand is considered positive, while bashing rants are negative. Everything in between, including re-shared content, is neutral.
Your brand’s sentiment will never be perfect, so setting a goal of 100 percent positive sentiment would be unrealistic and impossible to achieve. Because the majority of your mentions will have neutral sentiment, your goal should always aim to increase the positive sentiment. Start small and aim to increase by small, singular percentages.
2. Benchmark for success
Measuring sentiment alone won’t tell you how your brand is progressing. You need to have something to measure against.
If you’re unsure where to start, take a stretch of time and track your branded mention volume. This is all of the posts that mention your brand specifically. Remember, they may not always mention your brand’s social handle, so be sure to track all variations of your brand’s name and products/services.
Use the sentiment measured during that stretch of time as your baseline. Going forward, you can compare your sentiment against that benchmark to gauge your success. Another option is to set annual benchmarks and compare your progress year over year.
3. Look for opportunities
Your work isn’t complete after measuring the numbers. You have to analyze the results and take action with all of that data.
Negative and neutral sentiment can be turned positive if you put in the work. If you notice a customer complaint, respond quickly and use the opportunity to engage them and correct the situation. Others following the conversation may take note and think positively of your brand after seeing how well you handled a difficult situation.
Be on the lookout for potential crises too. If you notice a spike in your mention volume, it may not be a good thing. Analyze the sentiment of the conversations to see if there are any fires you need to put out. With sentiment analysis, you’ll be able to identify looming crises faster and better manage your brand’s communication if one hits.